Are you intervening too much or too soon?

April 29, 2011

If your threshold for failure is too short or small, you are likely doing yourself and your coworkers a disservice. When you feel tempted to intervene and make corrections or change course entirely, wait. Waiting allows your coworkers to discover failures on their own and take corrective action. Waiting will make your interactions more positive. Waiting rather than intervening will improve morale.

If you’re tired of making critical observations and intervening, I’m sure your coworkers are tired of it, too. Consider how behaving critically may be satisfying you emotionally and psychologically. And consider how waiting can help.

Don’t sit in judgment, stewing. Wait and expect others to come to you with their findings and successes. While you’re waiting on others to do their work, do more of your own work. Intervening often satisfies the need to feel busy, but it’s not as productive and visionary as many other forms of work.

Ask yourself: How might this situation play out if I don’t intervene? What positive outcomes might there be—work-wise and relationship-wise?

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